By James J. Metcalfe, 1957

Help me, my God, to keep the faith
As You would have me do
And first of all, in everything
To keep my faith in You.

Then help me, God to do the same
With neighbors everywhere
As we should trust each other now
With true and loving care

And when I am despondent, God
And mentally at sea
Give me the strength I need, to have
Some confidence in me

Let not my faith grow feeble, nor
My soul give up its fight
To overcome my failures, and
Be worthy in Your sight

And should You will some tragedy
And I am brought to grief
As I may fail to understand
Please help my unbelief.

   S. E. Kiser expresses in the verse below the thought that our kind words and deeds are helpful to ourselves, no matter how small their objective effect:

You may not profit by my word of cheer,
The cares you have may weigh upon you
My word of kindness may not dry your tear,
Nor smooth you path upon the storm-
swept hill.

The word of hope I speak may not impart
To you the courage that I wish it might;
But, speaking it, I win new strength of heart
And make the burden I am bearing light.

That Jesus lived, that Jesus died,
The ancient stories tell;
With words of wisdom, love, and truth,
That he could speak so well;
And all so great his work for man,
I hail him, brave and free,
The highest of heroic souls
Who lived and dies for me.

That Jesus rose, that Jesus reigns,
The hearts that love him know;
They feel Him guide and strengthen them,
As on through life they go.
Rejoicing in His leadership,
The heavenward way I see,
And shall not stray if I can say,
He rose and reigns in me.
by A. Irvine Innes

       The halo was incorporated into Christian art sometime in the fourth century with the earliest iconic images of Christ, initially the only figure shown with one (together with his symbol, the Lamb of God). Initially the halo was regarded by many as a representation of the Logos of Christ, his divine nature, and therefore in very early (before 500) depictions of Christ before his Baptism by John he tends not to be shown with a halo, it being a matter of debate whether his Logos was innate from birth (the Orthodox view), or acquired at Baptism (the Nestorian view). At this period he is also shown as a child or youth, though this may be a hieratic rather than age-related representation
      A cross within, or extending beyond, a halo is used to represent the persons of the Holy Trinity, especially Jesus, and especially in medieval art. In Byzantine and Orthodox images, inside each of the bars of the cross in Christ's halo is one of the Greek letters ώ Ό Ν making up I AM—literally, "the Existing One" — indicating the divinity of Jesus. At least in later Orthodox images, each bar of this cross is composed of three lines, symbolising the dogmas of the Trinity, the oneness of God and the two natures of Christ. In mosaics in Santa Maria Maggiore (432-40) the juvenile Christ has a four-armed cross either on top of his head in the radius of the nimbus, or placed above the radius, but this is unusual. In the same mosaics the accompanying angels have haloes (as, in a continuation of the Imperial tradition, does King Herod), but not Mary and Joseph. Occasionally other figures have crossed haloes, such as the seven doves representing the Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit in the 11th century Codex Vyssegradensis Tree of Jesse (where Jesse and Isaiah also have plain haloes, as do the Ancestors of Christ in other miniatures).

The above painting is by artist Kathy Rice Grimm. It depicts a very young Jesus holding His lambs. A halo with a cross representing His divinity surrounds his head. The jpg. is copyrighted but may be used with permission. Write the gallery staff at

The Christian Cross is the best-known religious symbol of Christianity. It is a representation of the instrument of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It is related to the crucifix (a cross that includes a representation of Jesus' body) and to the more general family of cross symbols.

Crucifixion (from Latin crucifixio, noun of process from perfect passive participle crucifixus, fixed to a cross, from prefix cruci-, cross, + verb ficere, fix or do, variant form of facere, do or make ) is an ancient method of execution, whereby the condemned person is tied or nailed to a large wooden cross (of various shapes) and left to hang until dead.
It was in use particularly among the Persians, Seleucids, Carthaginians, and Romans from about the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD, when in the year 337 Emperor Constantine I abolished it in his empire, out of veneration for Jesus Christ, the most famous victim of crucifixion. It has sometimes been used even in modern times.
A crucifix, (from Latin crucifixus or cruci fixus, past participle passive of crucifigere or cruci figere, "crucify", "fix to a cross"), an image of Christ crucified on a cross, is for Catholic Christians the main symbol of their religion, but most Protestant Christians prefer to use a cross without the figure (the "corpus" - Latin for "body") of Christ. (Not this Protestant, really.)
   Crucifixion was almost never performed for ritual or symbolic reasons outside of Christianity, but usually to provide a death that was particularly painful (hence the term excruciating, literally "out of crucifying"), gruesome (hence dissuading against the crimes punishable by it) and public (hence the metaphorical expression "to nail to the cross"), using whatever means were most expedient for that goal. Crucifixion methods varied considerably with location and time period.
    The Greek and Latin words corresponding to "crucifixion" applied to many different forms of painful execution, from impaling on a stake to affixing to a tree, to an upright pole (what some call a crux simplex) or to a combination of an upright (in Latin, stipes) and a crossbeam (in Latin, patibulum).
   If a crossbeam was used, the condemned man was forced to carry it on his shoulders, which could have been torn open by flagellation, to the place of execution. A whole cross would weigh well over 300 pounds (135 kilograms), but the crossbeam would weigh only 75-125 pounds (35-60 kilograms). The Roman historian Tacitus records that the city of Rome had a specific place for carrying out executions, situated outside the Esquiline Gate, and had a specific area reserved for the execution of slaves by crucifixion. Upright posts would presumably be fixed permanently in that place, and the crossbeam, with the condemned person perhaps already nailed to it, would then be attached to the post.
The person executed may sometimes have been attached to the cross by ropes, but nails are mentioned in a passage of Josephus, where he states that, at the Siege of Jerusalem (70), "the soldiers out of rage and hatred, nailed those they caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the crosses, by way of jest", and in John 20:25. Objects, such as nails, used in the execution of criminals were sought as amulets.
   Frequently, the legs of the person executed were broken or shattered with an iron club, an act called crurifragium which was also frequently applied without crucifixion to slaves. This act hastened the death of the person but was also meant to deter those who observed the crucifixion from committing offenses.

The above painting illustrates a unique perspective of the crucifixion. Jesus is seen here from above the cross, as God the Father would see him. He cries out, "Father why have you forsaken me?" The faces beneath Him represent all believers in His Grace, young and old, black and white, male and female. This crucifixion painting is by Kathy Rice Grimm. It may be viewed in the collections of the LCMS synod building, St. Louis, Mo. The jpg. is copyrighted but may be used with permission, just write the staff at

  (copyrighted jpg. 2008 by the pickandprintgallery)

   Artists today still paint many images of the cross. This particular cross pictured above is by artist Kathy Rice Grimm. It is of the Holy Trinity with the shadow of a cross behind. God the Father is symbolized by the mere outline of a hand. This is because God is Spirit. Jesus, is given the form of a man because He resurrected in the flesh and still lives as the perfect God/Man in heaven. The Holy Spirit is symbolized here in the form of a dove; His chosen symbolic image throughout the Holy Scriptures. 
  The artists represented below still live and work for the glory of God. They are from many places across the world wide web. We are proud of their artistic visions of the cross and we will keep surfing to bring our guests many more examples of artwork depicting the Cross of Jesus in the future.

Cross Carpet Pages are a characteristic feature of Insular illuminated manuscripts. They are pages of mainly geometrical ornamentation, which may include repeated animal forms, typically placed at the beginning of each of the four Gospels in Gospel Books.
   Carpet pages are wholly devoted to ornamentation with brilliant colors, active lines, and complex patterns of interlace. Some art historians find their origin in Coptic decorative book pages, and they also clearly borrow from contemporary metalwork decoration. Oriental carpets, or other textiles, may themselves have been influences. The stamped and tooled leather book binding of the Stonyhurst Gospel represents simple carpet pages in another medium, and the few surviving metalwork book covers or book shrines from the same period are also close parallels. The Hebrew Codex Cairensis, from 9th century Galilee, also contains a similar type of page, but stylistically very different.
   The earliest surviving example is from the early 7th century Bobbio Orosius, and relates more closely to Late Antique decoration. There are notable carpet pages in the Book of Kells, Lindisfarne Gospels, Book of Durrow, and other manuscripts.

The Descent from the Cross is the central panel of a triptych painting by Peter Paul Rubens in 1612-1614. The painting is the second of Rubens's great altarpieces for the Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp. The subject was one Rubens returned to again and again in his career. This particular work was commissioned on September 7, 1611, by the Confraternity of the Arquebusiers, whose Patron Saint was St. Christopher. Although essentially Baroque, the oil on panel piece is rooted in the Venetian tradition, and likely influenced by the work of Federico Barocci and Cigoli, amongst others.  In its composition and use of light, the triptych recalls Caravaggio's Roman period.
      Sequentially, the triptych describes the Visitation, the Descent from the Cross, and the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.
       Peter Paul Rubens (June 28, 1577 – May 30, 1640) was a prolific seventeenth-century Flemish Baroque painter, and a proponent of an exuberant Baroque style that emphasized movement, color, and sensuality. He is well-known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.
      In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp which produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically-educated humanist scholar, art collector, and diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV, king of Spain, and Charles I, king of England.

Christ the Redeemer in the Shape of The Cross. (Portuguese: O Cristo Redentor) is a statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The statue stands 38 metres (120 ft) tall weighs 700 short tons (635 tonnes), and is located at the peak of the 700 metres (2,300 ft) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city. It is the tallest of its kind in the world. It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone.
      A symbol of Christianity, the statue has become an icon of Rio and Brazil.
      The idea for erecting a large statue atop Corcovado was first suggested in the mid 1850s, when Catholic priest Pedro Maria Boss requested financing from Princess Isabel to build a large religious monument. Princess Isabel did not think much of the idea and it was completely dismissed in 1889, when Brazil became a Republic, with laws mandating the separation of church and state. The second proposal for a large landmark statue on the mountain was made in 1921 by the Catholic Circle of Rio. The group organised an event called Semana do Monumento ("Monument Week") to attract donations and collect signatures to support the building of the statue. The donations came mostly from Brazilian Catholics. The designs considered for the "Statue of the Christ" included a representation of the Christian cross, a statue of Jesus with a globe in his hands, and a pedestal symbolizing the world. The statue of Christ the Redeemer with open arms was chosen.
      Local engineer Heitor da Silva Costa designed the statue; it was sculpted by Paul Landowski, a French monument sculptor of Polish origin. A group of engineers and technicians studied Landowski's submissions and the decision was made to build the structure out of reinforced concrete (designed by Albert Caquot) instead of steel, more suitable for the cross-shaped statue. The outer layers are soapstone, chosen for its enduring qualities and ease of use.
      Construction took nine years, from 1922 to 1931. The monument was opened on October 12, 1931. The cost of the monument was $250,000. The statue was meant to be lit by a battery of floodlights triggered remotely by shortwave radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi, stationed 5,700 miles (9,200 km) away in Rome, but poor weather affected the signal and it had to be lit by workers in Rio.
      The statue was struck by lightning during a violent electrical storm on Sunday, February 10, 2008. The storm caused havoc in Rio, falling trees in several neighborhoods, but the statue was left unscathed because soapstone, the material forming the outer layers of the statue, is an insulator.
      In October 2006, on the statue's 75th anniversary, Archbishop of Rio Cardinal Eusebio Oscar Scheid consecrated a chapel (named for the patron saint of Brazil - Nossa Senhora Aparecida) under the statue. This allows Catholics to hold baptisms and weddings there.
      On 7th July 2007, Christ the Redeemer was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a list compiled by the Swiss-based The New Open World Corporation. In Brazil there was a campaign Vote no Cristo (Vote for the Christ) which had the support of private companies. Additionally, leading corporate sponsors including Banco Bradesco and Rede Globo spent millions of dollars in the effort to have the statue voted into the top seven.

A hot cross bun, or cross-bun, is a type of sweet spiced bun made with currants or raisins and leavened with yeast. It has a cross marked on the top which might be effected in one of a variety of ways including: pastry, flour and water mixture, rice paper, icing, or intersecting cuts.
      In many historically Christian countries, buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, with the cross standing as a symbol of the crucifixion. They are believed by some to pre-date Christianity, although the first recorded use of the term "hot cross bun" is not until 1733; it is claimed (no source found) that buns marked with a cross were eaten by Saxons in honour of the goddess Eostre (the cross is thought to have symbolised the four quarters of the moon); 'Eostre' is probably the origin of the name 'Easter'. Others claim that the Greeks marked cakes with a cross, much earlier. Cakes were certainly baked in honour of deities since very ancient times, although it is not known if they were marked.
      According to cookery writer Elizabeth David, Protestant English monarchs saw the buns as a dangerous hold-over of Catholic belief in England, being baked from the dough used in making the communion wafer. Protestant England attempted to ban the sale of the buns by bakers but they were too popular, and instead Elizabeth I passed a law permitting bakeries to sell them, but only at Easter and Christmas.

Marc Chagall (pronounced shuh-GAHL) (7 July 1887 – 28 March 1985), was a Russian Jewish artist associated with several key art movements and was one of the most successful artists of the twentieth century. He forged a unique career in virtually every artistic medium, including paintings, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramics, tapestries and fine art prints. Chagall's haunting, exuberant, and poetic images have enjoyed universal appeal, and art critic Robert Hughes called him "the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century."
      As a pioneer of modernism and one of the greatest figurative artists of the twentieth century, Marc Chagall achieved fame and fortune, and over the course of a long career created some of the best-known and most-loved paintings of our time. According to art historian Michael J. Lewis, Chagall was considered to be “the last survivor of the first generation of European modernists.” For decades he “had also been respected as the world’s preeminent Jewish artist.” He also accepted many non-Jewish commissions, including a stained glass for the cathedrals of Reims and Metz, a Dag Hammarskjold memorial at the United Nations, and the great ceiling mural in the Paris Opera.
      His most vital work was made on the eve of World War I, when he traveled between St. Petersburg, Paris, and Berlin. During this period he created his own mixture and style of modern art based on his visions of Eastern European Jewish folk culture. He spent his wartime years in Russia, and the October Revolution of 1917 brought Chagall both opportunity and peril. He was by now one of the Soviet Union's most distinguished artists and a member of the modernist avante-garde. He founded the Vitebsk Arts College, which was considered the most distinguished school of art in the Soviet Union.
He was known to have two basic reputations, writes Lewis - as a pioneer of modernism, and as a major Jewish artist. He experienced modernism’s golden age in Paris, where “he synthesized the art forms of Cubism, Symbolism, and Fauvism, and the influence of Fauvism gave rise to Surrealism.” Yet throughout these phases of his style "he remained most emphatically a Jewish artist, whose work was one long dreamy reverie of life in his native village of Vitebsk." “When Matisse dies,” Pablo Picasso remarked in the 1950s, “Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what color really is.”

   A mother and daughter were traveling through a forest. Overcome by the long journey, the mother fainted and fell by the wayside. As soon as consciousness was partly restored to her she sent her little child to seek out a minister. The little daughter went weeping on her way. She soon met a stranger riding a horse. The man inquired of her why she was weeping. She asked him if he were God's minister, and he said that he was. She led him to the side of her dying mother. His body-guard soon arrived. Reverently did they uncover as they found the King of England kneeling in prayer for the dying peasant. The greatest among them was their servant.

   There is a little limpet that is found clinging to the rocks along the coast; if you crawl up stealthily and hit one a heavy blow, you may detach it; but after you have struck the rock it is almost impossible to loosen the grasp of another limpet. These little limpets are good for nothing but to cling; but they do that with an awful tenacity. That's what limpets are for--simply to cling. Oh, that we just knew how to cling to God by faith-- nothing more, nothing less.--Bradford V. Bauder.

   The Tau cross, named after the Greek letter it resembles, is a very old symbol and is often used as a variant of the Latin, or Christian cross.
   The Tau Cross in Christianity dates back since the latter's beginnings. Today, in the Catholic Church it is used in reference to Saint Francis, who proclaimed to his fellow friars in his hometown of Assisi (Italy) that their monastic habit was the Tau Cross. When the arms of the one wearing it are outstretched to the sides, it roughly creates an image of the Tau Cross. If one then includes the body of the one wearing it in the imagery, the wearer becomes a living, walking crucifix. St. Francis is said to have reminded his followers of their role by reminding them of this imagery.
   There are many other Orthodox churches that use the TAU in their liturgy services as well. The TAU cross is often used as a decorative symbol on liturgical vestments, stoles, banners etc.
The lovely painting pictured by Rogier van der Weiden is of Joseph of Arimathaea Supporting the Dead Christ. In the background we see a TAU cross used as a crucifix.

A Golgotha Cross (crucifix). On some crucifixes a skull and crossbones are shown below the corpus, referring to Golgotha (Calvary), the site at which Jesus was crucified—"the place of the skull." It was called "Golgotha" because it was a place of death and torture. Skull and crossbones appear frequently at the foot of the cross throughout art history. These are direct references to the place of Christ's crucifixion. No doubt there were many bones of many crushed bodies littering the surroundings of those who were crucified.
There is also an old legend that the place of Jesus' crucifixion was the burial place of Adam. One of the Names of Jesus is "The New Adam." The meaning behind this name is in reference to the idea that Jesus becomes the Father to those who are reborn in Him. He becomes the perfect Adam that pays the penalty for his children's sins. Thus it is easy to understand "how" and "why" this legend unfolded.

Elements that frequently appear in Golgotha Cross paintings are as follows with their historic interpretations. Some elements may not be included or all of the elements may be present.
  • Scythe, one or two crossed - This has multiple interpretations. The Bible refers to the salvation of souls as "a harvest" and scythes are the traditional tools used in the fields to harvest wheat. The angels referred to in scripture as "reapers" are appointed the task of saving souls for Jesus, hence reaping the harvest and are also given the task of taking souls to heaven. Reapers in the Bible are good angels not evil as they are commonly portrayed in Hollywood and at Halloween. They also are quite attractive. No black cloaked skeleton is ever described in scripture as being a "reaping angel."
  • Skull and Cross Bones - Death is in this place.
  • Wings on the cross itself mean - The Ascension of the Soul of Christ. Christ escapes death.
  • Wings appearing around the cross - are symbolic for the presence of angels.
  • Drops of blood - The shed blood of Jesus covers the sins of mankind.
  • Cross - Christ was Crucified on a cross.
  • Jets of Sun Rays - These mean Divinity and often this halo surrounds the Head of Christ, both as a baby in the manger and around His head on a crucifix.
Where Was Golgotha?
Hey, nice powerpoints for Golgotha.

A crucifix (from Latin cruci fixus meaning "(one) fixed to a cross") is a cross with a representation of Jesus' body, or corpus. It is a principal symbol of the Christian religion. It is primarily used in the Catholic Church, Anglican churches, and Eastern Orthodox churches, and it emphasizes Christ's sacrifice— his death by crucifixion, which they believe brought about the redemption of humankind.
   The Eastern Christian crucifix usually includes two additional crossbars: the shorter nameplate, to which INRI was affixed; and the shorter stipes, to which the feet were nailed, which is angled upward toward penitent thief St. Dismas (to the viewer's left) and downward toward impenitent thief Gestas (to the viewer's right). It is thus eight-pointed. The corpora of Eastern crucifixes tend to be two-dimensional icons that show Jesus as already dead, as opposed to the depictions of the still-suffering Jesus that can be found in some other Churches. Also, Eastern crucifixes have Jesus' two feet nailed side by side, rather than one atop the other, as Western crucifixes do. The crown of thorns is also generally absent in Eastern crucifixes.
   Roman Catholic, Orthodox,Coptic, Anglican and Lutheran Christians generally use the crucifix in public religious services. They believe the crucifix is in keeping with Scripture, which states that “We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness.”
   Prayer in front of a crucifix is often part of devotion for Christians, especially those worshipping in a church, and private devotion in a chapel. The person may sit, stand, or kneel in front of the crucifix, sometimes looking at it in contemplation, or merely in front of it with head bowed or eyes closed. In the Roman Catholic Mass, Anglican and Lutheran Holy Eucharist, a procession begins Mass in which a crucifix is carried forward into the church followed by lector and servers, the priest, deacon, along with some of the other items used in the service such as the Gospels and the altar candles. Eastern Christian liturgical processions also include a crucifix at the head of the procession.
   The crucifix is also considered by some to be one of the most effective means of averting or opposing demons, as stated by many exorcists, including the famous exorcist of the Vatican, Father Gabriele Amorth. In folklore it is considered to ward off vampires, incubi, succubi, and other evils.
In terms of opposition, some have used an inverted (upside-down) crucifix when showing disdain for Jesus Christ or the Catholic Church which believe in His divinity. It is not uncommon for Satanists or anti-Christian athiests alike to use such symbolism in a form of protest. Interestingly, Saint Peter was martyred by being crucified upside-down.

The Cross of Lorraine is part of the heraldic arms of Lorraine in eastern France. It was originally held to be a symbol of Joan of Arc, renowned for her perseverance against foreign invaders of France (in her case, the English). Between 1871 and 1918 (and again between 1940-1944), the northern third of Lorraine was annexed to Germany, along with Alsace. During that period the cross served as a rallying point for French ambitions to recover its lost provinces. This historical significance lent it considerable weight as a symbol of French patriotism.
      The flag of Free France featured a red Cross of Lorraine on a standard Flag of France.
During World War II, the cross was adopted as the official symbol of the Free French Forces (French: Forces Françaises Libres, or FFL) under Charles de Gaulle.
      The vice-amiral Émile Muselier suggested the adoption of the Cross of Lorraine as symbol of the Free French, both to recall the perseverance of Joan of Arc (whose symbol it had been), and as an answer to the Hakenkreuz.
      In his general order number 2 of 3 July 1940, vice-admiral Émile Muselier, then chief of the naval and air forces of the Free French for only two days, created the bow flag displaying the French colours with a red cross of Lorraine, and a cocarde also featuring the cross of Lorraine.
Appropriately, de Gaulle is memorialised by a 43 meter high Cross of Lorraine at his home village of Colombey-les-Deux-Églises.
      The cross was also carried on the fuselages of aircraft flying on behalf of the Forces Aériennes Françaises Libres (FAFL) from 1940 to 1943 to distinguish them from the aircraft of the Vichy French air force, which continued to sport the traditional French air force (Armée de l'Air) roundels, dating from World War I.
      The Cross of Lorraine was later adopted by Gaullist movements such as the Rally for the Republic.

In ecclesiastical art, an Agnus Dei is a visual representation of Jesus as a lamb holding a cross. The cross normally rests on the lamb's shoulder and is held in its right foreleg. Often the cross will have a white banner suspended from it charged with a red cross (similar to St George's Cross), though the cross may also be rendered in different colours. Sometimes the lamb is shown lying atop a book with seven seals hanging from it. This is a reference to the imagery in the Book of Revelation 5:1-13, ff. Occasionally, the lamb may be depicted bleeding from the area of the heart (Cf. Revelation 5:6), symbolizing Jesus' shedding of his blood to take away the sins of the world (Cf. John 1:29, 1:36).
   In the Roman Catholic Church it is also a tablet of wax stamped with a representation of Jesus as a lamb bearing a cross, then blessed by the Supreme Pontiff as a sacramental.
   The Moravian Church uses an Agnus Dei as their seal with the surrounding inscription Vicit agnus noster, eum sequamur ("Our Lamb has conquered, let us follow him.").
   Although the depiction of Jesus as the Lamb of God is of ancient origin, it is not used in the liturgical iconography of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The reason for this is that the depictions of Jesus in the Orthodox Church are anthropomorphic rather than symbolic, as a confession of the Orthodox belief in the Incarnation of the Logos. However, there is no objection to the application of the term "Lamb of God" to Jesus. In fact, the Host used in the Orthodox Divine Liturgy is referred to as the Lamb (Greek: άμνος, amnos; Slavonic: Агнецъ, agnets).


The hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, was written by Isaac Watts, and published in Hymns and Spiritual Songs in 1707. It is significant for being an innovative departure from the early English hymn style of only using paraphrased biblical texts.

Isaac Watts (July 17, 1674 – November 25, 1748) is recognised as the "Father of English Hymnody", as he was the first prolific and popular English hymnwriter, credited with some 750 hymns. Many of his hymns remain in active use today and have been translated into many languages.

Born in Southampton, Watts was brought up in the home of a committed Nonconformist — his father, also Isaac Watts, had been incarcerated twice for his controversial views. At King Edward VI School (where one of the houses is now named "Watts" in his honour), he learned Latin, Greek and Hebrew and displayed a propensity for rhyme at home, driving his parents to the point of distraction on many occasions with his verse.

Watts, unable to go to either Oxford or Cambridge due to his Non-conformity, went to the Dissenting Academy at Stoke Newington in 1690.

His education led him to the pastorate of a large Independent Chapel in London, and he also found himself in the position of helping trainee preachers, despite poor health. Taking work as a private tutor, he lived with the non-conformist Hartopp family at Fleetwood House, Abney Park in Stoke Newington, and later in the household of Sir Thomas Abney and Lady Mary Abney at Theobalds, Cheshunt, in Hertfordshire, and at their second residence, Abney House, Stoke Newington. Though a non-conformist, Sir Thomas practised occasional conformity to the Church of England as necessitated by his being Lord Mayor of London 1700–01. Likewise Isaac Watts held religious opinions that were more non-denominational or ecumenical than was at that time common for a non-conformist; having a greater interest in promoting education and scholarship, than preaching for any particular ministry.

On the death of Sir Thomas Abney, Watts moved permanently with widow, Lady Mary Abney, and her remaining daughter, to their second home, Abney House, at Abney Park in Stoke Newington - a property that Mary had inherited from her brother along with title to the Manor itself. The beautiful grounds at Abney Park, which became Watts' permanent home from 1736 to 1748, led down to an island heronry in the Hackney Brook where Watts sought inspiration for the many books and hymns written during these two decades. He died there in Stoke Newington and was buried in Bunhill Fields, having left behind him a massive legacy, not only of hymns, but also of treatises, educational works, essays and the like. His work was influential amongst independents and early religious revivalists in his circle, amongst whom was Philip Doddridge who dedicated his best known work to Watts. On his death, Isaac Watts' papers were given to Yale University; an institution with which he was connected due to its being founded predominantly by fellow Independents (Congregationalists).

When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

[Added by the compilers of Hymns An cient and Mo dern]

To Christ, who won for sinners grace
By bitter grief and anguish sore,
Be praise from all the ransomed race
Forever and forevermore.

(Cross Idioms, below) An idiom is a phrase whose meaning cannot be made sense of from the literal definition, but refers instead to a figurative meaning that is known only through common use. In linguistics, idioms are widely assumed to be figures of speech that contradict the principle of compositionality; however, this has shown to be a subject of debate. It may be better to refer to idioms as John Saeed does: words collocated together happen to become fossilized, becoming fixed over time. This collocation -- words commonly used in a group -- changes the definition of each of the words that exist. As an expression, the word-group becomes a team, so to speak. That is, the collocated words develop a specialized meaning as a whole and an idiom is born; for instance, "He really threw me a curve when on our first date he asked if I could pay for the dinner." Note, in some cultures, when a man and a woman are courting each other, the male is traditionally the one who takes up the bill or pays the bill; however, times change and in many modern societies, a lot of couples go Dutch (yet another idiom).
      In the English expression to kick the bucket, for example, a listener knowing only the meaning of kick and bucket would be unable to deduce the expression's actual meaning, which is to die. Although it can refer literally to the act of striking a specific bucket with a foot, native speakers rarely use it that way. It cannot be directly translated to other languages – for example, the same expression in Polish is kopnąć w kalendarz (to kick the calendar), with the calendar being as detached from its usual meaning as the bucket in the English phrase is. The same expression in Dutch is het loodje leggen (to lay the piece of lead), which is entirely different from the English expression, too. Other expressions include break a leg and fit as a fiddle.
      Another kind of idiom is the use of a single word to have multiple meanings, sometimes at the same time, and sometimes one meaning to be discerned from context. This can be seen in the (mostly uninflected) English language in the common use of the same word for an activity, for those engaged in it, and sometimes for a verb.
      Idioms hence tend to confuse those not already familiar with them; students of a new language must learn its idiomatic expressions the way they learn its other vocabulary. Many natural language words have idiomatic origins, but have been sufficiently assimilated so that their figurative senses have been lost.
      An idiom is generally a colloquial metaphor — a term which requires some foundational knowledge, information, or experience, to use only within a culture where parties must have common reference. Idioms are therefore not considered a part of the language, but rather a part of the culture. As cultures are typically localized, idioms are often not useful outside of that local context. However some idioms can be more universally used than others, and they can be easily translated, metaphorical meaning can be more easily deduced.
      While many idioms are clearly based in conceptual metaphors such as "time as a substance", "time as a path", "love as war" or "up is more", the idioms themselves are often not particularly essential, even when the metaphors themselves are. For example, "spend time", "battle of the sexes", and "back in the day" are idiomatic and based in essential metaphors. These "deep metaphors" and their relationship to human cognition are discussed by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson in their 1980 book Metaphors We Live By.
       In forms like "profits are up", the metaphor is carried by "up" itself. The phrase "profits are up" is not itself an idiom. Practically anything measurable can be used in place of "profits": "crime is up", "satisfaction is up", "complaints are up" etc. Truly essential idioms generally involve prepositions, for example "out of" or "turn into".
      Interestingly, many Chinese characters are likewise idiomatic constructs, as their meanings are more often not traceable to a literal (i.e. pictographic) meaning of their assembled parts, or radicals. Because all characters are composed from a relatively small base of about 214 radicals, their assembled meanings follow several different modes of interpretation - from the pictographic to the metaphorical to those whose original meaning has been lost in history. It may be a feature that helps everyday life.

List of Cross Idioms.
  • "Our paths may cross."
  • "A cross to bear"
  • "Dot your i's and cross yout t's."
  • "I'll cross that bridge when I come to it."
  • "He crossed the line."
  • "To cross swords with someone."
  • "Cross my heart, and hope to die. Stick a needle in my eye."
  • "Cross your fingers"
  • "We are at cross-purposes."
  • "That did cross my mind."

Crosby's Cross Lyrics. Fanny Crosby was born in Southeast, Putnam County, New York to poor parents, John and Mercy Crosby. At six weeks old, she caught a cold and developed inflammation of the eyes. The family physician was not available, and the man who came in his place recommended hot poultices as treatment. The botched procedure blinded her.
      Her father died when she was one year old, so she was raised by her mother and grandmother. These women grounded Crosby in Protestant Christian principles, helping her, for example, memorize long passages from the Bible. Crosby became an active member of the John Street Methodist Episcopal Church in New York City.
      At age 15, Crosby enrolled at the New York School for the Blind (now the New York Institute for Special Education). She remained there for seven years. During that time she learned to play the piano and guitar and to sing. In 1843, she joined a group of lobbyists in Washington, D.C. arguing for support of education for the blind.  From 1847 to 1858, Crosby joined the faculty at the New York school, teaching English and history. She married Alexander Van Alstyne, a blind musician and fellow teacher, in 1858. At his insistence, she kept her maiden name. They had one daughter, which they named Francis and the Lord Jesus took her to Heaven as a baby. Alexander died on July 19, 1902.

Near The Cross

Jesus, keep me near the cross,
There a precious fountain
Free to all, a healing stream
Flows from Calvary’s mountain.


In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.

Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me;
There the bright and morning star
Sheds its beams around me.


Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day,
With its shadows o’er me.


Near the cross I’ll watch and wait
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand,
Just beyond the river.


Christ Carrying the Cross. El Greco (1541 – April 7, 1614) was a painter, sculptor, and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. "El Greco" (The Greek) was a nickname, a reference to his Greek origin, and the artist normally signed his paintings with his full birth name in Greek letters, Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος (Doménikos Theotokópoulos).
      El Greco was born in Crete, which was at that time part of the Republic of Venice, and the centre of Post-Byzantine art. He trained and became a master within that tradition before travelling at age 26 to Venice, as other Greek artists had done. In 1570 he moved to Rome, where he opened a workshop and executed a series of works. During his stay in Italy, El Greco enriched his style with elements of Mannerism and of the Venetian Renaissance. In 1577 he moved to Toledo, Spain, where he lived and worked until his death. In Toledo, El Greco received several major commissions and produced his best known paintings.
      El Greco's dramatic and expressionistic style was met with puzzlement by his contemporaries but found appreciation in the 20th century. El Greco is regarded as a precursor of both Expressionism and Cubism, while his personality and works were a source of inspiration for poets and writers such as Rainer Maria Rilke and Nikos Kazantzakis. El Greco has been characterized by modern scholars as an artist so individual that he belongs to no conventional school. He is best known for tortuously elongated figures and often fantastic or phantasmagorical pigmentation, marrying Byzantine traditions with those of Western painting.

Cross of Triquetras or the Carolingian Cross. This symbol is used by Christians as a symbol of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). This appropriation is particularly easy because the triquetra conveniently incorporated three shapes that can be interpreted as Christian Ιχθυς symbols.
A common representation of the symbol is with a circle that goes through the three interconnected loops of the Triquetra. The circle emphasizes the unity of the whole combination of the three elements.

Christograms inside of crosses. A Christogram is a monogram or combination of letters that forms an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ, traditionally used as a Christian symbol. Different types of Christograms are associated with the various traditions of Christianity.
Icon of Christ Pantokrator with the Christogram IC XC on either side of Christ's head.
      In Eastern Orthodoxy, the most widely used Christogram is a four-letter abbreviation, ICXC — a traditional abbreviation of the Greek words for "Jesus Christ" (i.e., the first and last letters of each of the words ΙΗΣΟΥΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ — written "IHCOYC XPICTOC" with a transliteration of the lunate sigma common in medieval Greek as "C"). On icons, this Christogram may be split: "IC" on the left of the image and "XC" on the right, most often with a bar above the letters (see titlos), indicating that it was a sacred name. It is sometimes rendered as "ICXC NIKA", meaning "Jesus Christ Conquers."
      "ICXC" may also be seen inscribed on the Ichthys. In the traditional Orthodox icon of Christ Pantokrator, Christ's right hand is shown in a pose that represents the letters IC, X, and C.
In the Latin-speaking Christianity of medieval Western Europe (and so among Catholics and many Protestants today), the most common Christogram is "IHS" or "IHC", derived from the first three letters of the Greek name of Jesus, iota-eta-sigma, or ΙΗΣ. Here, the Greek letter eta was transliterated as the letter H in the Latin-speaking West (Greek eta and Latin-alphabet H had the same visual appearance and shared a common historical origin), while the Greek letter sigma was either transliterated as the Latin letter C (due to the visually similar form of the lunate sigma), or as Latin S (since these letters of the two alphabets wrote the same sound). Because the Latin-alphabet letters I and J were not systematically distinguished until the 17th century, "JHS" and "JHC" are equivalent to "IHS" and "IHC".
      "IHS" is sometimes interpreted as meaning Iesus Hominum Salvator ("Jesus, Savior of men" in Latin) or connected with In Hoc Signo. Some uses have even been created for the English language, where "IHS" is interpreted as an abbreviation of "I Have Suffered" or "In His Service". Such interpretations are known as backronyms. Used in Latin since the seventh century, the first use of IHS in an English document dates from the fourteenth century, in The vision of William concerning Piers Plowman.[1] Saint Bernardino of Siena popularized the use of the three letters on the background of a blazing sun to displace both popular pagan symbols and seals of political factions like the Guelphs and Ghibellines in public spaces.
      One of the oldest Christograms is the Chi-Rho or Labarum. It consists of the superimposed Greek letters chi (Χ) and rho (Ρ), which are the first two letters of Christ in Greek. Technically, the word labarum is Latin for a standard with a little flag hanging on it, used in the army. A Christogram was added to the flag as an image of the Greek letters chi rho in the late Roman period, so Christogram and labarum were not originally synonyms.
      The most commonly encountered Christogram in English-speaking countries in modern times is the X (or more accurately, Greek letter chi) in the abbreviation Xmas (for "Christmas"), which represents the first letter of the word Christ.

The original Coptic cross has its origin in the Coptic ankh symbol and was adopted by early Christian Gnostics such as the well known Valentinus of Alexandria, Egypt. The Coptic cross of today, used by Coptic Orthodox Christians, has many different forms. The circle represents the eternal and everlasting love of God. Christ's halo was commonly depicted with cross-based halo in the early and especially the eastern parts of Christianity. The full cross symbolizes Christs crucifixion and resurrection.

"The Old Rugged Cross" is a popular Christian song written in 1912 by evangelist and song-leader George Bennard (1873-1958).
      George Bennard, was a native of Youngstown, Ohio but was reared in Iowa. After his conversion in a Salvation Army meeting, he and his wife became brigade leaders before leaving the organization for the Methodist Church. As a Methodist evangelist, Bennard wrote the first verse of the gospel song, "The Old Rugged Cross" in Albion, Michigan, in the fall of 1912. Charles H. Gabriel, a well-known gospel-song composer helped Bennard with the harmonies. The completed version was first performed on June 7th, 1913, by a choir of five in Pokagon Michigan. Published in 1915, the song was popularized during Billy Sunday evangelistic campaigns by two members of his campaign staff, Homer Rodeheaver (who bought rights to the song for $500) and Virginia Asher, who were perhaps also the first to record it in 1921. The Old Rugged Cross uses a sentimental popular song form with a verse/chorus pattern in 3/4 time, and it speaks of the writer's Christian experience rather than his adoration of God. Bennard retired to Reed City, Michigan, and the town maintains a museum dedicated to his life and ministry.
      "The Old Rugged Cross" remains enormously popular and has been performed by some of the twentieth century's most important recording artists, including: Al Green, Anne Murray, Brad Paisley, Chet Atkins, Elvis Presley, Floyd Cramer, George Jones, Jim Reeves, Johnny Cash and June Carter, Kevin Max, Mahalia Jackson, Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Ray Price, Ricky Van Shelton, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Statler Brothers, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, and George Beverly Shea. The song was also sung on "Gridlock," an episode of the long-running sci-fi drama series Doctor Who.

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.
O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.

More links about George Bennard

Ground Zero Cross. The World Trade Center cross, also known as the Ground Zero cross, is a group of steel beams found amidst the debris of the World Trade Center following the September 11, 2001 attacks which resembles the proportions of a Christian cross.
      The World Trade Center was built using prefabricated parts which were bolted or welded together at the site. This process dramatically reduced construction time and costs. Using this process, t-beams and other types of cross beams were created and used in each of the World Trade Center buildings. When One World Trade Center collapsed, it sent debris down on to 6 World Trade Center, and gutted the interior of World Trade Center 6. In the midst the WTC6 debris was this intact cross beam, which its discoverer believes came from One World Trade Center.
      Following the attacks, a massive operation was launched to clear the site and attempt to find any survivors amongst the rubble. On September 13 one of the workers at the site, claimed by Frank Silecchia to be himself, discovered a 20 feet (6.1 m) cross of two steel beams amongst the debris of 6 World Trade Center. Those with access to the site used the cross as a shrine of sorts, leaving messages on it or praying before it.
      After a few weeks within the cleanup site the cross was an impediment to nearby work, so Silecchia and others working on the project received an expedited approval from the office of New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to erect it on a pedestal on a portion of the former plaza on Church Street near Liberty. It was moved by crane on October 3 and installed on October 4, where it continued as a shrine and tourist attraction. The cross has remained during reconstruction, but in the 2004 and 2005 filings of its site plan, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey indicated that "additional remnants" of the original World Trade Center might require removal and storage during construction of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub.
      Some saw the crossed metal as a Christian cross and felt its survival was symbolic. Fr. Brian Jordan OFM, a Roman Catholic Franciscan priest, spoke over it and declared it to be a "symbol of hope... a symbol of faith... a symbol of healing". The cross had a profound effect on those with a personal connection to the disaster. One minister at the site says that when a family of a man who died in the attacks came to the cross shrine and left personal effects there, "It was as if the cross took in the grief and loss. I never felt Jesus more."
      A replica has been installed at the gravesite of Father Mychal Judge, a New York Fire Department chaplain who was killed in the collapse of WTC 1 on September 11. Other surviving crossbeams were salvaged from the rubble; one was given to a Far Rockaway, New York chapter of the Knights of Columbus in 2004. Another replica cross was fashioned by ironworkers from Trade Center steel and installed at Graymoor, the Upper West Side headquarters of the Society of the Atonement, a religious order of Franciscan friars.
      The nearby St. Paul's Chapel, which survived the destruction and was a refuge for survivors and site laborers, sells various replicas of the cross including lapel pins and rosaries. The cross even inspired laborers on "The Pile" to get tattoos.
      The potential use of the cross in the World Trade Center Memorial has been controversial. Many groups such as families of the victims want the cross to be included, while other organizations, notably American Atheists and the Coalition for Jewish Concerns, disagree.
      Fr. Jordan has been trying to preserve the cross since April 2006. St. Peter's Church, which faces the World Trade Center site, was proposed as a temporary spot for relocation during construction of the new PATH station and office tower at the site. The cross was eventually moved to St. Peter's on October 5, 2006

More about the Ground Zero Cross.
Ground Zero Cross photo by Samuel Li.

O'Keeffe's Cross. Georgia Totto O'Keeffe (November 15, 1887 – March 6, 1986) was an American artist.

She is associated with the American Southwest, where she found artistic inspiration, and particularly New Mexico, where she settled late in life. O'Keeffe has been a major figure in American art since the 1920s. She is chiefly known for paintings in which she synthesized abstraction and representation in paintings of flowers, rocks, shells, animal bones and landscapes. Her paintings present crisply contoured forms that are replete with subtle tonal transitions of varying colors. She often transformed her subject matter into powerful abstract images and she painted many cross images as well.


Crosses On Flags. A flag is a piece of cloth, often flown from a pole or mast, generally used symbolically for signaling or identification. The term flag is also used to refer to the graphic design employed by a flag, or to its depiction in another medium.
      The first flags were used to assist military coordination on battlefields, and flags have since evolved into a general tool for rudimentary signaling and identification, it was especially used in environments where communication is similarly challenging (such as the maritime environment where semaphore is used). National flags are potent patriotic symbols with varied wide-ranging interpretations, often including strong military associations due to their original and ongoing military uses. Flags are also used in messaging, advertising, or for other decorative purposes. The study of flags is known as vexillology, from the Latin vexillum meaning flag or banner.
Articles about crosses that appear on flags and a few flag clipart links.